SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Public beach parking lots will close in Longboat Key for the July 4th weekend to help curb the spread of COVID-19, the town announced Monday.
The town is also closing Quick Point and Overlook park access and the public restrooms at Bayfront Park and Joan M. Durante Park until further notice.
The closures come as coronavirus cases spike in Florida. The state reported an additional 5,266 cases on Monday.
Longboat Key officials tell 8 On Your Side, 75% of the town’s population falls into the most vulnerable age group when it comes to COVID-19 and because of that, they’re taking precautions to keep residents safe.
Merry Angioletti has lived on Longboat Key for 30 years. She feels town leaders are making the right move in limiting beach access once again.
“People don’t wear masks, they don’t practice social distancing, and look what has happened. If people did what they were supposed to do, we wouldn’t have to do this,” said Angioletti.
Beachgoers, on the other hand, were not so happy with new restrictions in place as they pulled up to beach access lots blocked with yellow tape and barricades.
“The beach is the most open place. I think it is way too overboard,” said beachgoer Amy Albrecht.
Longboat Key leaders plan to meet again this Thursday to decide whether or not they want to move forward with an emergency ordinance requiring masks on the island. The ordinance would look similar to the one just approved in the City of Sarasota.
As of this writing, other beaches in Sarasota County plan to stay open.
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